HP+ and its staff and partners operate in a variety of settings around the world. The project's work in and on behalf of partner countries is often enhanced through participation in prominent international conferences and symposia, or while seated at the table with leaders, policymakers, and advocates around the world. Read the latest news and stories about HP+ and its impact on global, national, and subnational health outcomes.
HP+ hosted a forum featuring Ellen Starbird of USAID, Joe Kutzin and Veronica Magar of the World Health Organization (WHO), and HP+ speaker Suneeta Sharma and moderator Arin Dutta, who together explored the causes of health inequity, the pros and cons of national health insurance programs with respect to impacts on health equity, and new tools and approaches to reach universal health coverage and reduce health inequity.
Indonesia is well-positioned to find innovative solutions to the persistent questions of how to successfully implement a large-scale national health insurance program. If they do, it could be a turning point on the road to universal health coverage for Indonesia and countries beyond.
Mauritania's new reproductive health law, now moving to implementation, allows community health workers and nurses to provide family planning.
On January 29, HP+ Pakistan held an end-of-project event to celebrate the project's successes. The event brought together senior provincial government officials and representatives from USAID, development partners, and civil society. Mr. Ogho Oghdale, USAID deputy mission director for Sindh and Balochistan provinces, showed appreciation of HP+'s work in generating evidence-driven messages linking rapid population growth to development to advocate for family planning.
Guatemala's Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) launched its National Labor Training System (SINAFOL), which seeks to regulate and conduct professional development both within and outside of school systems to respond to the labor demands of the productive sector.
Mozambique has seen a dramatic influx of resources aimed at strengthening the country's health system, reaching underserved populations, and financing its fight against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Last month marked an important step forward in sub-Saharan Africa’s move toward strategic, sustainable, and country-led financing for family planning. Stakeholders from national governments, civil society, the private sector, USAID, and other development partner organizations gathered at a week-long meeting in Accra, Ghana to share country experiences and explore cutting-edge approaches and tools.
USAID's HEARD Project shines the light on the White Ribbon Alliance and HP+'s work to build a movement for respectful maternity care.
HP+ assisted 26 counties to increase their collective health sector allocations by approximately US$98 million over the past two fiscal years through implementation of program-based budgeting.
Achieving universal health coverage and #HealthforAll will require collective action and innovation.
The new law will be a tremendous step forward toward rights-based reproductive health services in Madagascar, which until recently operated under a 1920s French colonial framework that prohibited distribution of contraception to youth or married women without spousal consent.
In recent years, a social justice movement has emerged in Africa that promotes human rights for sexual minorities. Learn how a special session, jointly organized by HP+, at the International Conference on AIDS in Africa explored ways to improve the enabling environment for key populations and break down societal stigma and discrimination facing those most affected by HIV.
Over the past several months, HP+ staff have received notable recognition for their contributions to combatting HIV and promoting human rights.
In mid-November nearly 50 civil society, private sector, and government stakeholders and donors gathered in Guyana, helping to move the country closer to establishing public financing of civil society-led HIV services. HP+ is providing technical support to the national AIDS program secretariat to plan for Guyana’s transition from external to domestic financing of HIV programs and services.
Nigeria's Sokoto State is ratcheting up its commitment to development and slowing population growth. On November 24, 2017, Sokoto State Deputy Governor launched the state-level RAPID, reaffirming the government's committed to continuing its promotion of child birth spacing.
HP+ is involved in a number of activities aimed at combating HIV-related stigma and discrimination in Jamaica, including strengthening the country's redress system and collecting data on stigma and discrimination in health facilities.
Based on an actuarial study to project the SNHI scheme's financial viability, the brief will inform efforts by other countries in the region to implement similar insurance reforms.
The government of Malawi, with support from HP+, is developing a health financing strategy to help mobilize resources required to deliver the EHP and close the financing gap for the implementation of the newly developed Health Sector Strategic Plan II.
The HEP+ team in Guatemala continues their work to support the government's health sector reform and to put in place a strong, decentralized system of governance and public service provision.
The Ebonyi State RAPID provides easy-to-use facts and figures that support the case for investment in family planning in Ebonyi based on a model application projecting the impact of rapid population growth on various sectors.
Burkina Faso's reproductive health law has been strengthened with the Minister of Health's approval of new regulatory language emphasizing the rights of users. The reproductive health law, originally passed in 2005, with support from USAID-funded health policy projects and in collaboration with the National Assembly, had previously lacked enforceability.
Originally published in 2015, PHDP was created by and for people living with HIV and key populations to promote personal health and advocate for high-quality HIV services. The curriculum includes new and updated modules on a range of topics, including treatment literacy, disclosure, and stigma and discrimination, and contains training menus that demonstrate how the modules can be used comprehensively or a la carte depending on needs, goals, and the amount of time available for training.
The Ministry of Health in Kenya engaged stakeholders in preparation of the grant for securing Global Fund resources for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
HP+’s West Africa Health Informatics Team (WAHIT) colleagues are in the region this week and next to launch the program and discuss how West Africa can strengthen national health information systems (NHIS) and integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR).
As part of HP+'s ongoing support to Jamaica's Ministry of Health to strengthen its Complaint Management System, HP+ Jamaica organized a training this week for JN+ redress officers.
ONE Campaign President and CEO Gayle Smith provided the inaugural address to kick off a new lecture series sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University on October 8, 2017. Named in honor of Anita Datar, the lecture series is designed to inform and engage students, faculty, and the public about pressing issues in in women’s global health.
The Health Policy Project, the predecessor to HP+, with funding from PEPFAR provided Gender and Sexual Diversity trainings for 2,825 participants including PEPFAR staff and program implementers, U.S. government staff, and local stakeholders in 38 countries. Results from the first study to report on GSD attitude change among a global sample of almost 180 individuals from 33 countries were published in PLOS on September 19, 2017.
On September 13th 2017, H.E. Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State announced the launch of the first Bauchi RAPID. The launch represents the first RAPID among the three states HP+ is currently supporting.
With the support of the USAID-funded HP+ Guatemala (HEP+) and the successful advocacy of local networks, the Congress of Guatemala on August 17th approved a revision to the civil code to prohibit the marriage of minors, with no exceptions.
Liberia remains one of the fastest growing nations in the world with respect to population growth rate. Approximately 60% of Liberians are under 30 years of age and one in three teenagers have experienced a pregnancy. Modern contraceptive use remains low at 20% amidst slowly rising demand. The CIP presents an important opportunity for the country to bolster resources and momentum to scale up strategic efforts to meet the country's goal of increasing its modern contraceptive prevalence rate.
Kelly Saldaña, Director of the Office of Health Systems at USAID, presented the 2017 Acting on the Call report at the Palladium DC office at a briefing organized by Elena Ateva, Maternal and Newborn Health Policy and Advocacy Advisor, and Betsy McCallon, CEO, at HP+ partner the White Ribbon Alliance. The 2017 report lays out how health systems strengthening (HSS) contributes to maternal and child survival goals.
The USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP), the Health Policy Plus (HP+) project's predecessor, provided extensive technical assistance to Kenya's Ministry of Health in the development of this law, facilitating advocacy and consensus-building efforts and providing guidance on linking the law with the Kenya Health Policy.
Prior to the summit, in collaboration with the government of Malawi, DFID, UNFPA, and other civil society organizations, HP+ held a high-level meeting in Lilongwe to brief the media and discuss Malawi's progress on FP2020 commitments. With the objective of increasing the country's contraceptive prevalence rate 60% by 2020, with a focused increase in those aged 15-24.
At the July 2017 Family Planning Summit in London, HP+’s Deputy Director for FP/RH, Jay Gribble, curated and moderated a spotlight session on domestic solutions for sustainable family planning financing.
With HEP+ support, a National Decentralization Plan was approved by President Jimmy Morales in February 2017. On July 21, 2017, with President Morales in attendance, SCEP signed agreements with the Municipal Association of Los Altos in the Quetzaltenango Department to launch pilot decentralization programs in three municipalities.
The Government of Malawi launched the Health Sector Strategic Plan II (HSSP II) 2017–2022,in Lilongwe. The HSSP II is the health sector's medium-term strategic plan outlining objectives and strategies and guiding resources over a five-year period.
On July 6, a representative of the acting president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, launched Nigeria's fourth National RAPID. RAPID is an evidenced-based advocacy tool that projects the social and economic consequences of high fertility on different sectors of the economy, including labor, education, health, urbanization, and agriculture.
HP+ regional director Modibo Maiga was selected to draft the partners' resolution. Mr. Maiga led a small committee to draft the resolution on task shifting/sharing in the ECOWAS region, which will help advance the sustainable development goals.
HP+ West Africa's regional director, Modibo Maïga, and deputy director Brahima Bassane joined a high-level delegation of Ouagadougou Partnership donors in Burkina Faso last week to highlight USAID's and the project's pivotal role in developing and supporting the implementation of that country's costed implementation plan.
Participants in HP+'s Women's Leadership initiative in Pakistan have had tremendous success, directly contributing to policy and other efforts aimed at expanding outreach and access to family planning services for youth.
Signaling Burkina Faso's leadership in family planning, Professor Nicolas Meda, minister of health, appointed Anne Thieba, wife of Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba, as ambassador for family planning at a moving and powerful ceremony on May 12, 2017 in Sandogo. Announcing her new role, Meda spoke openly of his ambitious expectations for the new ambassador's contributions toward the achievement of Burkina Faso’s family planning and development objectives.
The Director General of Health of the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of Côte d'Ivoire issued a memorandum scaling up postpartum family planning (PPFP). The new guidance calls for health facilities and qualified service providers to inform new mothers of the full range of family planning methods to ensure free and informed choice of options immediately following delivery.
The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and Health Policy Plus (HP+) project hosted a high-level Family Planning (FP) Advocates’ workshop in Abuja. The event brought together prominent Nigerians from a wide variety of backgrounds to explore the challenges facing Family Planning in Nigeria and to commit to specific actions advocating for increased resources for FP intervention in Nigeria.
Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, the deputy governor of Sokoto State, inaugurated the Sokoto State Child Spacing Advocacy Working Group on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The Sokoto State Child Spacing Advocacy Working Group (AWG) is an initiative of the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus (HP+) project in Nigeria. It is expected to create a platform for stakeholders in Sokoto State to engage with policymakers to promote improved policies and funding for maternal and child health and child spacing.
Madagascar's government council passed a decree in April 2017 establishing a national health solidarity fund as part of its universal health coverage (UHC) efforts.
How can you ensure sustainable domestic financing for health programs that prioritize access to the marginalized? How do you navigate power struggles at the decentralized level to effectively implement health programs? How do you keep policy reforms moving forward when stakeholders are at odds? These were among the challenging policy—and political—issues discussed at the forum on “The Art of Policymaking: Advancing Health Policy in Dynamic and Complex Environments,” hosted by HP+.
A recent article, published in AIDS Care, examines how stigma faced by sex workers affects their use of HIV- and non-HIV related healthcare services and undermines their human right to health. The authors argue that stigma—particularly the intersection of key population- and HIV-related stigma—acts as a roadblock at each step in the HIV treatment cascade, threatening individuals’ health and our collective ability to control the HIV epidemic.
Kenya’s national and county governments are allocating more funds—in absolute terms—to the health sector. However, despite increases, the total health sector allocation remains below the Abuja target, to which the Kenya government has committed. The Abuja target refers to an international pledge that urges governments to allocate at least 15 percent of their annual budget to improve the health sector.
On Monday, February 27, HP+ supported the “Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities” policy dialogue at the Wilson Center, in Washington, DC. The event provided an opportunity to discuss the recently released Midwives Voices, Midwives Realities global survey conducted by the World Health Organization, International Confederation of Midwives, and White Ribbon Alliance.
There is an urgent need to increase engagement of the commercial private sector, civil society organizations, and media outlets to address Indonesia’s pressing maternal and newborn health (MNH) needs, cites a recent report. The report, produced by the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus project, is a call to action for the government of Indonesia, as well as the country's private sector, civil society, and media organizations.
The S&D package was presented at a webinar, “Engaging with Health Facilities for HIV-related Stigma Reduction,” on February 16, 2017. At the webinar, HP+ staff joined USAID colleagues to share HP+ best practices, resources, and current work related to engagement with health facilities for HIV-related stigma reduction.
Progress towards universal health coverage will not guarantee that historically marginalized populations will benefit from new health insurance schemes. This was the topic of a dynamic side-session - Extending Coverage to Marginalized Groups – hosted by USAID on January 29, 2017, at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference, in Bangkok, Thailand.
HP+ is supporting women leaders and government officials in Sindh to advocate for increased investments in family planning. It is expected that these activities, along with upcoming initiatives working with the media and male champions, will help Sindh expand family planning access, increase contraceptive prevalence, and make progress toward achieving the SDGs, FP2020 commitments, and Pakistan’s national development goals.
On December 9, 2016, Mali became one of the final ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa) countries to sign the Dakar Declaration on Factoring Key Populations in the Response to HIV and AIDS. HP+ had been working with the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene and the National High Council to Fight against AIDS for several months to obtain a signature on the Declaration.
Representatives from Guatemala’s Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) launched EscuelAPP, a new mobile application designed to enhance civil society’s role in holding the national government accountable for high-quality education. The application was developed by the USAID-funded Health and Education Policy Plus (HEP+) and is linked to a database created and maintained by HEP+ and its predecessor policy projects.
This December, HP+ staff, will join others from across the globe in standing for #HealthForAll on this year’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day.
It has been one year since our colleague and friend, Anita Datar, was tragically and senselessly killed while she was working in Bamako, Mali. Anita, along with a team of colleagues from Mali and the United States, were in Bamako to meet with local government and civil society members to launch Health Policy Plus – a program which aims to improve health services, and equitable access to them, for all Malians.
Each step in the continuum is part of a complex and continuous process that needs our full commitment and investment to better serve those living with and affected by HIV.
welve counties in Kenya have adopted a new budgeting approach and increased their health sector allocations, following training and support in program-based budgeting (PBB). By implementing PBB, an approach that ties funds to priority health areas, the 12 counties increased their collective health sector allocations by Kshs 1.2 billion (approximately US$12 million) from the previous fiscal year (FY) 2015/16 budget.
HP+ joined more than 2,000 delegates from 101 countries gathered to explore building resilient and responsive health systems at the 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2016). Held in Vancouver, the meeting concluded on November 18, 2016, when members released a statement reflecting key themes emerging from the week’s discourse and a path forward in our field.
HP+ provided assistance to Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and the NHIF to re-design the program and to cost the benefits package, ensuring that the government allocated adequate resources. HP+ supported the MoH to collect and synthesize data on what resources were required to implement the program under NHIF.
Attending the 17th General Membership Meeting of the Reproductive Health Supply Coalition (RHSC)—held October 10–14 in Seattle, Washington—technical leadership from the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus (HP+) project shared their work on Costed Implementation Plans (CIPs) with hundreds of family planning and reproductive health stakeholders from around the world.
After nearly 20 years of sustained advocacy efforts Mauritania, the Council of Ministers of the government of Mauritania approved the text of a new Reproductive Health (RH) Law submitted by the Minister of Health.
From October 3-7, in Islamabad, HP+ initiated the Pakistan's Women's Leadership: Achieving Sindh's FP 2020 Commitments program, which builds on HPP's successful model for strengthening women's individual leadership and collective FP/RH policy advocacy, as well as an innovative HP+ core-funded and women-centered approach to accountability for FP 2020 commitments.
A new HP+ study shows that the Kenyan government has gradually increased its investment in the nation’s health sector over the past several years. These increases have occurred not only at the national level, but also among Kenya’s counties which collectively boosted their health contributions by nearly one-third from the previous year.
HP+ recently shared our work at the four-day National Family Planning Conference in Antananarivo, Madagascar, a space for donors and family planning (FP) stakeholders to share their work and progress in facilitating Madagascar's increased investment in FP access.
HP+ Kenya/East Africa provided technical assistance to an East Africa Community (EAC) workshop to review and validate the proposed EAC Health Policy.
Last week HP+ convened a meeting drawing together representatives from this project team for their third partners meeting. This particular meeting provided a space to discuss the integration of gender and capacity-building in project activities.
Based on an HPP study, the Government of Malawi is shifting its VMMC focus to aim to have 60 percent of males between the ages of 10 and 34 in 14 of Malawi's 28 districts circumcised by 2025. If Malawi reaches this goal the study calculates a potential total savings of $344 million.
The most recent issue of Global Health: Science and Practice, includes an article co-authored by HP+’s Sara Pappa. The piece offers key study findings and program recommendations for improved Postabortion Care (PAC) services worldwide.
This new PLOS Collection developed in collaboration with USAID, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on the next steps of the program and features new modelling articles published in PLOS ONE and PLOS Medicine aiming to help countries examine the potential effects of focusing on specific sub-populations for male circumcision services.
Supported by USAID's Health Policy Plus project, Kenya's parliamentary health committee adopted an amendment bill to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) act.
During the June 25th celebrations of Guatemala's Day of the Teacher, Herminia Reyes was one of four educators awarded the National Order Francisco Marroquín by President Jimmy Morales. This medal, awarded since 1963, is the highest honor for educators in the country. It recognizes educators who have distinguished themselves and improved education for the benefit of Guatemala. Ms. Reyes was among 92 nominees for this prestigious recognition.
To better respond to the ongoing global AIDS epidemic, thousands of advocates, researchers, civil society members, policymakers, people living with HIV, and journalists gathered in Durban, South Africa this July to share knowledge, discuss critical issues, and reveal new scientific findings. HP+ staff were there as well participating in these exchanges and contributing evidence and ideas on how the field can improve access, equity, and rights in the global HIV response.
World Population Day 2016 gives us the opportunity to take stock of our progress in addressing a variety of population issues vital to helping people achieve their own potential, and helping countries achieve their economic growth goals.
An article published this week in Global Health Science and Practice presents a case study from Uganda's costed implementation plan for family planning. The piece was co-authored by HP+ Project Director, Suneeta Sharma, HP+'s Deputy Director, FP/RH, James N. Gribble, and HP+/RTI's Alyson Lipsky, alongside USAID's Linda Cahaelen.
The memorial event was sponsored by Palladium, for whom Anita worked, and attended by approximately 200 of Anita’s friends, family members, and colleagues. Farley Cleghorn, head of Palladium’s global health practice, moderated. Other guests who had been personally and professionally close to Anita used spoken word, art, and song to celebrate her life and her many lasting contributions to the field of global health and development.
This event shared findings from the systematic review of Transforming Gender Norms, Roles, and Power Dynamics for Better Health. Participants were able to discuss and apply evidence-based strategies that transform gender norms, roles, and relationships for successful improvements in FP/MNCH outcomes.
Over the past five years, HEPP contributed technical assistance around health, nutrition, and educational policies, and strengthened Guatemala’s investments in social development. With this support, the country’s government and civil society oversaw improvements in transparency, accountability, gender equity, and multiculturalism.
In late January we participated in the 2016 International Family Planning Conference. This is a recap of our presentations and related blogs.
A modeling study published last week in the journal PLOS Medicine shows that site-level HIV treatment will cost $53 billion in 97 countries worldwide in order to achieve the "90-90-90" treatment targets set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
This fall the project was presenting its work at international conferences and fora across the globe. This story covers three of those presentations.